Icing Eyelid to Help Heal After Eyelid Surgery?

For how long (days) after lower eyelid surgery should I ice to speed up the recovery? I know it takes time but I'm getting a little frustrated because while I appear to be healing quickly in that I'm barely bruised, on day 4 I seem to have no swelling left except for that annoying "puff" that prompted me to get the surgery in the first place.

Does ice make a difference after the initial few days? Thanks.

Doctor Answers 3

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

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Thank you for your question.  We advise a recovery period, of 5 - 7 days, for an upper eyelids and two weeks for lower lids.  For patients who bruise easily, recovery may be slightly longer.  Cool whitchazel compresses (dampen cotton pads with whitchazel, cooled in the fridge), post surgery, are very helpful in reducing swelling and providing relief.  Sleep with your head elevated, for the first few nights, this will also aid in reducing swelling.  Best of Luck!

Reduce eyelid swelling after eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty

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Ice to eyes after eyelid surgery is most useful during the first 48 hours. I advise cosmetic patients to keep fresh, clean ice pack over surgical wounds while they are awake only for the first 2 days. After the first 2 days, ice does help control swelling but is much less effective. I still recommend using ice for the first week, as tolerated. Each surgeon has a preference based on the procedure and each specific patient.

Keep your head elevated at all times, and avoid bending over. Sleeping on top several pillows or in a chair also helps reduce facial swelling after cosmetic surgery.

I advise patients to strictly avoid lifting, straining, or any strenuous activity (including sex) for at least 2 weeks following facial plastic surgery. This activity restriction helps healing during the recovery period.

Some plastic surgeons also prescribe a steroid pill, such as prednisone, to control post-procedure swelling and help in recovery.

Although, most swelling after eyelid surgery resolves in a couple weeks, it really takes longer for the final swelling to go away. Four days after eyelid surgery is still very early.

Speak with your eyelid surgeon, and ask when you should stop the ice packs.

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Icing definitely helps

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After eyelid surgery, rest, elevation of your head on pillows while sleeping, and ice will definitely speed your recovery. I recommend as much as possible for the first week, and I realize this can get very annoying quickly, but my patients who commit to this tend to recover more quickly. Stick with it as much as you can and be patient-- some patients simply take longer to heal than others, but in the end you should have a very nice result.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.